Fenchurch Launches A New Six Course Tasting Menu
Maybe it something to do with age, but I love a good tasting menu. Six courses, sometimes more, wine pairings, what’s not to like?
Some of my friends disagree. One in fact, takes it as a personal slight at the thought of a mere restaurant choosing wines for him. Given he’s an IT project manager, and not a sommelier, it seems a little bit rich, but he believes that it gives restaurants the opportunity to either give you very expensive wine, not very good wine, or a bit of both. And he wonders why I never take him to reviews.
My friend Tom on the other hand is far more open minded, even if the City, and in particular the much-maligned walkie talkie building, isn’t exactly his thing.
Fenchurch, the premium restaurant at the top of said tower, has recently launched a six-course menu for Autumn. It has been crafted by head chef Zac Whittle (Conran, Galvin), so that guests can try a wider range of the restaurants signature dishes.
Fair enough. The chopped mackerel with pickled cockles, sea herb and oyster cream was a delightful opening dish. The acidity of the cockles worked well with the punchier mackerel and cream. The rabbit bolognaise that followed was delicious. The rabbit was cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection with the harissa providing a delightful, but not overpowering punch. The Cornish turbot that followed for course three wasn’t quite as successful. The vegetable broth with mussels and seaweed lacked the right depth of flavour to match such a great fish as the turbot. The lamb at course four, was cooked in garlic, artichokes, basil and olive jus and was perfect autumn fare. It was a perfectly balanced and seasoned dish, and a lovely way to end the savoury section of the menu. The two dessert courses were intriguing. The Coconut cream with lime granita, mango and sesame is not a combination I would normally pick off a menu. But this was great, with good textures and uplifting, cocktail like combinations of flavours. Ditto the glazed peanut and chocolate bar and banana yoghurt ice cream for course six which sounded far too rich for my taste. And if I had made it, it would have been. Instead in the hands of a good chef it was wonderfully balanced with good texture. The accompanying wine pairings were well chosen and mostly successful. we weren’t as keen on the Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc as we thought we would be – sacrilege I know. But the others were great, with my personal favourite being the Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kibinett from Germany.
How much I hear you asking? With the wine pairing it was £109 (£70 with out) which I think is good value for money. Although, that may say more about a man who spends too much time in the City.
But to reiterate my first point. I love a good tasting menu, and the team at Fenchurch doing the six course version as well, if not better than most places right now.
On a rating of * to *****
Wining and dining ****
Serving and pouring ****
Scrimping and saving **
Fenchurch, Sky Garden
20 Fenchurch Street (via Philpot Lane), City of London
London, EC3M 3BY
www.rhubarb.net/venues/sky-garden | @SG_SkyGarden